Curtiss V-4, V-12 Engine


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

Toward the end of 1915, Curtiss conducted a design study for a large aircraft engine of 224 kW (300 hp) or more. The objective was a power plant for large seaplanes, such as the British Naval Air Forces used in patrolling the North Sea for enemy submarines. The quickest way to develop such an engine was thought to be through enlarging the 8-cylinder Curtiss VX engine into a 12-cylinder version. The first 12-cylinder Curtiss engine was designated V-4.

Although this engine eventually developed about 298 kW (400 hp), it was not produced because a successful rival, the Liberty, was lighter and had the same power. Only one V-4 was made. It powered a hydro-plane speed boat, "Miss Miami," which at one time held a world speed record of 106 km/hr (66 mph).

Collection Item Long Description:


Circa 1915

Inventory Number


Physical Description

  • Type: Reciprocating, V-type, 12 cylinders, water-cooled
  • Power rating: 224 kW (300 hp) at 1,400 rpm
  • Displacement: 27 L (1,649 cu in.)
  • Bore and Stroke: 127 mm (5 in.) x 178 mm (7 in.)
  • Weight: 493 kg (1,086 lb)

Credit Line

Purchased from Roosevelt Field, Inc.

Country of Origin

United States of America


Steel, Aluminum, Preservative coating, Rubber, Plastic, Copper, Brass, Textile


  • Approximate (Weight on stand): 681.3kg (1502lb.)
  • Other: 53 x 96 x 38in. (134.6 x 243.8 x 96.5cm)
  • Approximate: 132.08 x 243.84 x 95.89cm (4ft 4in. x 8ft x 3ft 1 3/4in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary